• Report: #210313

Complaint Review: Southern Missouri Truck Driving School

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  • Submitted: Sun, September 10, 2006
  • Updated: Sun, May 06, 2012

  • Reported By:Taos Missouri
Southern Missouri Truck Driving School
Post Office Box 545 Malden, Missouri U.S.A.

Southern Missouri Truck Driving School Dishonest and Bigoted People out to Take Your Hard Earned Cash Ripoff Malden Missouri

*Consumer Comment: Very Good Experience At This School

*General Comment: Misery in Malden

*Consumer Comment: Apology Is In Order

*Consumer Comment: Are you kidding me!

*Consumer Comment: Whats the big deal

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Here's an amusing little story for you guys to chew on for awhile...

My husband was working with Vocational Rehabilitation in order for him to find work. His counselor was nutty to suggest truck driving school - especially a school in southern Missouri of ALL PLACES. (Thank you Joan Read for being the space cadet/moron I always thought you were!)

These backwards baptist buttheads kicked my husband out of their little "school" because they didn't like the fact that he was wearing, get this, SHORTS!!!
The dipshit who owns the place pulled my husband aside and told him that he was a "bad influence", and that he couldn't have other people dressing like that. Then he told my husband how "unchristian" he was and told him to get his "faggot ass" out of his school. How kind, really.
We're touched Chester, really, we are.

If there is anyone who is considering going to this school, then I suggest that you save your money and look for something better.

They'll find a chance to kick you out for any reason that they see fit, and they'll adamantly refuse to give any sort of refund.

If Chester and his little don't like you, you can be sure that your time at the school is going to be come a living hell.

They are also incredibly racist. Chester has connections to various racist parties such as the KKK, and the Aryan Nations.

So, not will you NOT get a refund, there's a good chance that you'll get lynched as well.

You've been warned.

Stephen and Jennifer
Taos, Missouri
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/10/2006 02:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Southern-Missouri-Truck-Driving-School/Malden-Missouri-63863/Southern-Missouri-Truck-Driving-School-Dishonest-and-Bigoted-People-out-to-Take-Your-Hard-210313. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Very Good Experience At This School

AUTHOR: G. Cooley - (United States of America)

It's time to update this event which took place some 5  years ago. I was not at the school at that time. However, myself and my wife both recently graduated (spring 2012) with our CDLs from Southern Missouri Truck Driving School (SMTDS).

Chester is no longer affiliated with the school. His daughter Regina and her husband Kevin now own and operate the school. All I can say is that both my wife and I had a very good experience. We paid our tuitions in full, which was $4,500 each. It cost us another $660 in gas to drive back and forth on weekends as the SMTDS was 200 miles from home.

As far as we are concerned we got more than our money's worth. We did not experience anything weird, religious, or KKK in nature. The instructors - and the owners - were all extremely helpful and patient, true pros all the way.

The school is in an excellent location for learning to drive a truck. They have an old airport for their backing and shifting ranges. You make a mistake and the worst that will happen is you run into a flat grassy field. There is nothing to hit or hurt.

Once you get out on the road there is a wonderful mix of flat straight roads, then interstate, then twisty windy narrow roads, then hilly roller coaster roads. Malden is a small town with just the right mix of speed limits, railroad crossings, traffic lights, and tight stop-sign turns.

You will back, shift, turn, and run the roads several times, even to area towns with truck stops. If you can't learn to drive at this school you just don't belong in a truck. And if you have a hard time but still want to succeed, and if you don't give up, they will give you up to two weeks free to get it together.

We all watched one woman who turned out to be an inspiration to many of us. She kept trying and trying to back, shift, and drive. She was a horrible driver. Yet the instructors hung in there with her as she really wanted to pass and earn her CDL. It looked hopeless for her. But she made it. Now she has a very good driving job.

I had a very difficult time too. I wondered if I was really driver material. Driving one of these trucks is not easy. But again, the instructors had the patience of Saints. They did not give up on me. They insisted that I was doing better than I thought I was. Come test day they would not let me back down and strongly encouraged me to take the test.

I took the test and failed it. No big deal they said. They worked with me a little more, and then the next day I tested again and passed. Nobody was ever rude, mean, crude, nor did they pick on me. My instructor had a degree in electrical engineering - along with 2 million miles of driving experience.

The other two instructors were also excellent. My wife and I could not pick a favorite instructor as they were all so great. Later, when we started applying for trucking jobs, we found that the top companies who normally would only consider drivers with at least one year of experience would hire us because we graduated from SMTDS.

Let me put it another way. I had qualified for grant from another state at another school. They would pay my entire tuition, pay all my meals and lodging, pay my travel expenses, and pay for all tests except the final CDL. Total value of this "package" was $6,500. This other school had brand new trucks, a state of the art driving simulator, and beautiful buildings. But I turned it all down to attend SMTDS.

Why? Because of Regina McClendon, Chester's daughter. Nobody anywhere was as helfpul and kind as Regina. I had called all over America, trying to find a top driving school. Yet none of them were as helpul as Regina. It soon became clear that I was far better off at SMTDS. It was a choice that I did not regret.

Make no mistake about it. If you lodge at SMTDS it's like staying at deer camp. It's rough as a cobb. But it is clean - and it's free. All your money goes for top-notch instruction and instructors. It is a very small sacrifice for what you will learn.

Regarding smoking, get used to it. If you are going to be a truck driver and can't handle smoke, don't get your CDL. I don't smoke, and I don't like being around smoke. Nobody ever blew smoke in my face. The instructors did smoke in the truck, but not if you ask them not to. I was so busy learning to drive, and they were so good at putting up with my mistakes, I figured the least I could do was let them smoke.

I don't know what this school was like five years ago. It is at a new location. It is under new ownership. The price is $4,500 now. And you WILL learn to drive well. Just know that in order to pass the Missouri DOT CDL test you will have to use certain driving techniques not used in the "real world". The school's job is to get you your CDL. And at times that means doing stupid things in order to pass the test.

At times you may wonder why they teach what they do, and why they teach it the way they do. Be patient. It will all come together and make sense. The job of the school is just to get you your CDL. You will get your "finish" training at the company that hires you. Good companies will spend another two months teaching you how to drive.

Regarding any offensive comments or jokes of a racial or biggoted nature, I did not hear any. However, if such things offend you, and you want to be a truck driver, get used to it. On the road you will meet every kind of person you can imagine. Some are rude and crude. Others are educated and polished. Others are something in between. Same for all the dock workers and customers you will work with. If you are sensitive and are the kind who likes to whine at every tiny offense, don't become a truck driver. You'll get your feelings hurt too much in the Big Bad Real World.
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#2 General Comment

Misery in Malden

AUTHOR: next-to-last-trucker - (Canada)

Five years after this man and his wife submitted these comments, I found this entry, and I want to back up what both of them said, really.  First, I didn't even know the KKK still existed, until I came to Missouri from out-of-state and overheard some of the conversations at the school. LOL - not. Second, it seems that every class group needs to have one person, according to the owner, whom he and his instructors want to victimize.  Sadism is the order of the day.  By the way, since they are nominal Baptists, you have to be their kind of Baptist, because not just any kind of Christian will do.  After you come out of there with a CDL, don't think you're going to know how to drive either.  Their various parking routines, endlessly practised on the pad, will never translate into real life situation skills, either in a truckstop, or at a loading dock.  Also, if you don't smoke cigarettes, you will be ostracized during break times, and your instructors will blow smoke in your face while you're behind the wheel.  I am allergic to cigarette smoke, and my eyes instantly turned into water faucets.  When you are targetted as the fall guy, you will never even be given a turn to do a straight back into a parking space.  I could go on and on.  I remember the road practice days, where the students sat in the trucks at the side of the road for 45 minutes at a time, while the trainers were in a coffee shop playing video games every afternoon, which your $7,500 will subsidize.  I remember Chester very well.  He should be cast in a movie.  Between his sarcasm and humiliation tricks, and the instructor (husband of the office manager, who is Chester's daughter), who spits tobacco juice into a styrofoam cup all day in the classroom -- this is not the type of operation you would suppose would get a PDL rating year after year.  Did I mention the over-the-hill trucks? Chester rolls out the red carpet for all the lying recruiters from the major carriers, and attendance is compulsory. No one ever warns the students about what will happen to them OTR, where the hopes and bank accounts of rookies are routinely abused, just like they were at school.  The common excuse is: "That's trucking?"  No, that's bottom-feeding, SMTDS-style.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Apology Is In Order

AUTHOR: Stephen - (U.S.A.)

My name is Stephen Brown. My wife is the originator of this original report and I feel some necessary retractions are in order here, as well as a straightforward explanation of the events as I experienced them.

I did not file this report myself, but my wife did after we left Southern Missouri Truck Driving School back during summer, 2006. I sincerely did not realize what she had written, and thought that an accurate description would've been posted, especially on this site.

I wish to make necessary literary retractions where necessitated, as well as giving indication of what is accurate and what is not.

That said, I would like to begin:

First of all, I would like to apologize to everyone at the school for my wife's comments. She isn't a bad person, but does get defensive of me and sometimes exaggerates things a bit. The comments regarding the KKK and the Aryan Nation are patently false (so far as I know the owners of SMTDS, which isn't very well), and were meant, more or less, as "emotional filler." In short, she was mad at the time.

I was a bit chagrined, but not overly angry, at what happened to me at the school. I spent a lot of my own money moving my family, RV and All (wife and I are full-timers), to the little campground near the school, setting my wife and I up in the little motel on the edge of the Malden Industrial Park for a week or so until we could get the RV set up properly. Fact is, I never got the chance, as my relations with the school broke down in the first two days.

Let me be frank on a couple of things. I am, generally speaking, a kind, gentle, and decent and honest sort of person. I don't knowingly break laws, cause trouble, or desire to do anything merely to "get attention." I do tend to debate an issue if I feel I have been wronged. To some extent, I do feel as though this particular school has wronged me.

There did seem to be some trouble with my ability to please the owner of SMTDS, regardless of my attempts to do otherwise. The sequence of events goes something like this:

1. Arrived at school and at class a bit late the first day. My wife and I were exhausted after experiencing some problems with the RV and had to have it towed. Yes, I said Towed. A thirty-foot, Class A Coachmen Mirada motor home. A tractor used to tow Kenworths, Peterbilts, and Freightliners was employed. This cost me $1500.

2. Got to the school a little after opening, perhaps fifteen minutes or so.

3. Was greeted by a somewhat less than pleased owner and staff regarding my 'tardiness.' I explained about the issues with the RV, the fact that I have Attention Deficit Disorder (which is an ever present issue with me affecting my ability to be on time for anything these days), the fact that this was a Vocational Rehabilitation funded program, etc.

4. The staff did all it could to assist my wife and I in this matter. My VR Counselor was called, matters explained (they had never dealt with a VR case before), and matters agreed upon...or so I thought.

5. We were given the rest of the day off to recuperate a bit, and told to come back the next morning.

6. I arrived one hour early the following morning, sat around in my truck with the rest of the student body outside of the school building, waiting until it opened. I sat down in my seat, with my materials, ready to begin the day. Let me make this clear: I was on time, an hour early, and eager to re-learn the skills I had learned ten years earlier (I have had a Class A with full endorsements before; I didn't 'lose' it for anything I did wrong, I turned it in because of circumstances outside of my control).

7. This is where things become a bit unclear to me, and actually begin to not make any sense. As previously stated, I was ready and in my seat. Five minutes after my arrival, almost to the second (I had been looking at my watch), the owner came up to me and indicated that he wanted to take me aside to a less populated part of the building to have a private chat with me.

Okay, no problem. Let's have a chat. I didn't know what I could have possibly done within the span of one hour of waiting and five minutes of sitting down, materials on the desk, my pen poised for note taking, and brain focused on truck driving lore and practice, but let's have a chat, anyway.

The simple fact was, it seemed to me that the gentlemen was...probably...in a state of mind in which he was...again probably...looking for some fault in me to comment on, or take action on, or...? I think one gets the idea.

So he kind of leans over a bit, so as to whisper in my ear, discreetly--and I appreciated the discretion, so as no one else could hear--and says something to this effect:

"Ummm, Mr. Brown, if we allow everyone to do what they want, then the womenfolk will be getting ideas and start wearing their dresses high and such."

My head was turned slightly to the side and my eyes were slightly averted so I could hear him whispering in my ear. If he could've seen how wide my eyes went. . .

I responded to this with something to the effect of: "Really?" To which he responded, something to the effect of: "Yeah really." .

He then went back into the classroom area, apparently satisfied by his doings with me, and left me standing alone in the room, apparently to think things over. Well I did think them over. For a minute. Then another minute. Then I walked back into the classroom, all the while a mental warning buzzer going off in the back of my brain. I stopped half way to my seat, and considered. Thought again. Thought about not only what was said and how it was said, but also the conditions of my surroundings, still trying to make sense of the "dresses" thing.

Not a single woman (or man :-^) wearing a single dress in the place. People wearing jeans and shorts. Only one female student in a class of five. Warning buzzers going off again. So I just stood there for a few seconds longer, and then said out loud, something to the effect: "You know, I think I need to go."

When I said this, he went ballistic. He pointed his finger at me, then proceeded to yell and state out loud--in full hearing of the rest of the class--something like: "I'm tired of you. Get out of my school, you get to that door and get out of here now!" I thought the blood vessels in his head were going to burst. Seriously. My instructor's wife--also the accounting manager/office manager or something--may have also joined in...not unlike a backup singer in a band filling in the lead vocalist, actually.

I proceeded in an orderly fashion to my truck and went back to my hotel room and my waiting wife. She was less than pleased, and must've made the original post during our trip back to Columbia. Had I read what she had been writing, even at that point I would have said something. Again, apologies all around.

No apologies for the rest, though, however, as it is true and complete to the best of my knowledge, etc.

All in all, a very surreal experience. The trip back all but depleted my bank account. I wasn't given any sympathy from Vocational Rehabilitation, either. Fact is, I found out recently that they had not even had the chance to vendor anything to the school. Apparently, a phone call had been made and both SMTDS and my Case Worker had agreed to "just let the matter drop," as if it had never happened.

I sent SMTDS an invoice via Certified Mail for $7,600.00 dollars for expenses and trouble incurred during my sojourn. I have yet to see one penny of it.

I believe I was effectively discriminated against, or at least was made fun of, or made to look like a fool, etc. All my VR Counselor thought was that I was "unable to succeed" and that I "had recurring problems." They all seem to think this way, no matter what state in which I've lived. I've had my disability for a long time. They've been taught the same thing in the same way in the same schools for a long time. The same reactions from both sides have been occurring for a long time.

See any connections here? Hmmm. . .

Well, that's the gist of it. I hope this helps to resolve this issue, mollifies some things, and also sets the record straight.

I leave you with my

Warmest regards,
Stephen A. Brown
Jefferson City, Missouri

---------------------------------------
The Year is 2007
The Name Is S.A. Brown
BrowNAV (Brown Navigation)
GPS Mapping Design and Accuracy Bar None!
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#4 Consumer Comment

Are you kidding me!

AUTHOR: Kem - (U.S.A.)

How in the world can you make such staements without any proof. The KKK, come on, get real. Such statements like that should be banned from this site to start with, ever hear of slander. And by the way, your hubby wanted to play by his own rules, not comform to the real world. He was kicked out of school for the fact that he was wanting to be a hi-way cowboy or maverick and be his own man. Well, he got what he deserved, booted out for beeing a rule breaker, and showing he is not worth hireing at the same time. You need to learn that you do not run the schools, and need to adhear to rules. People like your husband is the ones that will give trucking the black eye every time, by not playing by the rules I can just see him some day driving a big truck. He is saying rules are not for him, I want to break them, be my own man, drive fast, break the HOS rules cause I am a Maverick and do it my way. Good for this school kicking him out, just what he deservied. Grow up.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Whats the big deal

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

I don't know both sides of the story but unless your husband had some medical reason for wearing shorts I don't see what the problem is. Most schools have some kind of dress code. Do you mean to say he showed up in shorts one day and they kicked him out or he was repeatedly asked not to wear shorts because the were against the dress code and was kicked out for that reason.

Just as well I guess otherwise everyone would be reading about how unfair it was he got fired for not being able to work someplace that has a dress code.
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